I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I speak like a character from an Aaron Sorkin show. I speak quickly, I speak precisely, I have an extensive vocabulary (I almost always choose polysyllabic methods of conveying information, because that’s how I am), and it seems like nearly everything I say has an unintended (yet unavoidable) sardonic intimation. I don’t do this on purpose (as I have been blamed for doing); I don’t do this to make others feel inferior (as I’ve been told I do); and I don’t do this to grandstand (as it may or may not appear). It’s just simply my modus operandi.
But for all the complexities of my speech, the complexity of my intrinsic “thought life” far exceeds anything I say. Essentially, I over-think everything. As an English teacher who taught literature, it literally became my job to find the deeper meaning in everything I taught, be it a book, a chapter, a sentence, or just a word. So, as an unintended byproduct, it rubbed-off on my way of thinking as a whole, and has impacted the manner in which I approach my religious faith.
I remember when I was younger and faith came so easily to me. I could “feel” God during church or in a Christian song on the radio or during prayer or in times of difficulty when I felt that God may have been comforting me. But anymore, it’s almost nothing. And I think it’s because I think too much. I hate the way this sounds, but faith and ignorance seem to go hand-in-hand. I don’t mean that negatively (because the concept of ignorance is merely a lack of knowledge – when it comes to brain surgery, I’m very ignorant). If knowledge is in the act of knowing and faith is the act of believing, then knowledge requires facts and faith only requires evidence.
[Readers note: As I type this, I have no idea where I’m going with it. So just bear with me. My thoughts are fluid and I’m just typing, and typing.]
For clarification, I believe whole-heartedly that God exists. I believe in the Christian concept of God, I believe that Jesus Christ was His son, and I believe in the crucifixion, resurrection, and the forgiveness of sin through Grace. I believe this, and I doubt it not.
Maybe it’s not ignorance, but naiveté that I miss. I was never swayed by how “science” seemed to sometimes contradict Biblical teachings. I’ve always believed that if God created the Earth, he created science as well, so by saying that “science contradicts the Bible” is essentially meaningless because if God created everything, he created science, and can alter or manipulate it as he pleases. Believing that God created the universe, but is also constrained by its limitations, is ridiculous. If God created the universe, he can do whatever he wants with it. So, for example, if people believe that it was logistically impossible for all of the animals to fit on Noah’s Ark, they are operating under the assumption that God does not exist and therefore cannot cater to the situational need of that particular instance. He’s God. He can change what he wants.
However, the analytical part of my mind gets hung up on the fact that as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I seem to “feel” God less on an emotional level while seeming to understand Him more on an intellectual level. And while I value my intellect, I am often comforted by my emotions. I guess I just miss that feeling of comfort and emotional connection with God – that feeling from church camp in high school when I could just feel (and know) that God was standing right beside me. I wasn’t exactly knock-knock-knockin’ on Heaven’s door, but I could definitely feel the presence of God. Now, I go to church and feel nothing. Now I pray and feel nothing. Now I hear the same Christian songs that used to speak to my soul, and feel nothing. And it’s not that I don’t believe in God anymore – I do. I guess I just miss that naïve feeling that Jesus was sitting in the passenger’s seat of my car. I wish there was a way to recapture that feeling. I wish there was a way to keep myself from thinking my way into doubts.
I guess I just miss that deep-down emotional feeling that God is there.
I guess I just miss the life I had before I ruined everything.
I guess I just miss the days when life made sense.
I guess I just miss the not-so-distant past.
I guess I just miss God.